Beet and Brown Rice Salad

Music: Jimmy Cliff, “The Harder They Come” – A little summertime music for a summertime meal!
Menu: Dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar grilled pork chops, and Kate’s green beans with mint.

As promised, another beet recipe. I’m serious about learning to like these nutrient-packed, bright-red, crazy little buggers. Guess what? It worked this time!! This salad is so, so, so good. My sister was weary and she had a friend over that also looked at me like I was crazy when I asked him if he liked beets. But everyone at the table asked for seconds, I know, I was stunned too. This recipe is actually pretty simple. There is not a lot of hands on time. Best part: you cut the beet before it cooks, reducing the murder-like scene that usually happens after roasting a beet to only cut up right after. There was still a bit of red, but I used an extra plastic cutting board I have a kept the mess concentrated to that and my hand.


After the last experience with beets, I was determined to try again, knowing that if I could find the right flavor combos, I would love ’em. The next quest came after an epic trip to our local farmer’s market. The above picture contains one bag of purchases from a farm just outside the city. Ready for this one….everything pictured was $5. Organic, local produce, and all $5. If I would have gone to the supermarket and tried to grab all this produce, looking for local and organic, my guess is that I would have spent somewhere in the range of $7-8. Organic veggies price tags are harsh. I admit, I rarely venture over to the organic bin, unless I see big yellow sale tags. Even then, I usually cannot meet the price. So, if you’re in the same boat, but local and check out some farmer’s markets in your area.

Enjoy your beets and I hope this one converts you as it has me 🙂

Beet and Brown Rice Salad
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown basmati, or other brown rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • S & P
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts*
  • 2 tspn. EVOO
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 4 medium red beets or about 1 pound without greens, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tspn. lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish*
  • 2 ounces (about 3/4 cup) soft goat cheese, crumbled*

* I used pecans, cilantro, and feta cheese because I had those things on hand. It still came out incredible and I didn’t have to make a special trip to the store and spend extra money to make the recipe exactly as printed.

Directions:

  1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in rice, bay leaf, and salt; cover. Reduce heat to low; simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand, covered.
  2. Meanwhile, toast pine nuts/pecans in oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until nuts are just browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer nuts with a slotted spoon to a small bowl.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low; add onions and garlic to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add beets and 1 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until beets are tender, about 25 minutes (if beets stick to skillet, add up to 1/4 cup water).
  4. Remove bay leaf from rice. Stir rice, half of pine nuts, the lemon zest, and parsley into beet mixture. Transfer to a platter. Top with remaining pine nuts and the goat cheese. Garnish with parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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